June 28, 2011

TIGERS BE STILL by Kim Rosenstock

Melissa Quine gives Zack Art Therapy Lessions. Her sister is zonked out. Photo by Jessica Palopoli


“Tigers” is a funny look at how people act when they are under stress. And, there is a lot of stress in this comedy drama. Yes, it’s very amusing, there is an underlying theme of ‘everyone in this play’ needs therapy. And there is the therapist (Sherry), that teaches at the school where the principal was once the King of the Prom – and her Mom was the Queen. 

Which brings me to this. We never see the Therapists Mom. Seems that she is just too obese, to get out of bed these days. She won’t even let her two daughters see her, even though one of her daughters portends to be a Therapist.

Fascinating is the Teen-age boy who is taking Art Therapy from 24-year old Sherry. These people are a bunch of nut cases. Funny ones, indeed. The young man (Zack) really pulls off being a not very happy Teen. But are there ever any happy teens? No! – Would be the answer. He has Ghosts that swirl around in his mind. His Mom (Died), his Dad now confronts him with taking Therapy. During one of the sessions with Sherry, the Therapist says to Zack: - “I need you!” Zack says to her: “You need me? The last thing I need is a needy therapist!” As it turns out, he ends up needing her, and wants to up the ante. Some sweet moments follow.

The Gross out moments swirl around the blubbery sister of the Therapist. She is a total train wreck. She drinks and drops all kinds of junk on the floor and calls up her boyfriend several times a day.  He dumped her for someone else. All she ever gets from the Ex, is a message. In other words – he’s not interested. If anyone needs therapy, it would be her. She’s a boozehound – and a messy one at that. She kidnaps her ex-boyfriends dogs and locks them in the basement, hoping that he will come by to retrieve them. In her drunken stupor, she forgets to feed them. Funny maybe for a few minutes, but not for long.

“Tigers” is often hilarious. There’s infectious humor going on, wrapped up in pathos and intensity. You wouldn’t want to invite friends over for a party. Too much Angst in this household.

THE ACTORS: Jeremy Kahn (Zack) – Best Male Lead. You’ll fall in love with his innocence. Melissa Quine (Sherry) is “Rapturous and Remarkable.” Remi Sandri as Principal Joseph is marvelous. Rebecca Schweitzer as the Booze swilling Sister is explosively good. And the Direction by Amy Glazer gives us something to savor. As usual “Bill English blesses us with another wiz bang set.  Total summation is – “It’s funny…sexy…and surprisingly sweet!”

One more thing. The escaped “Tiger” – It was never found.



(((Lee Hartgrave has contributed many articles to the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook and Produced and Hosted a long running Arts Segment on PBS KQED)))

Courtesy -- beyondchron

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